Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whoa Nellie - There's a Plane in the Pond!

So our anonymous commenter who I'll refer to as "Steve", for lack of a better pseudonym, nearly nailed the "What is it?" by at least somewhat connecting the part to a portion of an aircraft gone awry. If this had been an actual contest, "Steve" would have scored extra points for using the term "cowling". Instead, "Steve" wins the hand-painted pork chop, signed by Dennis and I. Maybe some of my hints helped lead the rest of you to this piece of WW2 hardware.

It's the front, right-side, engine cowling from a SBD Dauntless dive bomber. However, the picture below (public domain) is unfortunately of the left side.

Ok, now it's the right side.

So how'd this thing make it to Dennis' studio?

Dennis explains:
"In the early 1940's the SBD Dauntless crashed in the lake behind my grandfather's orange grove during a practice drill shortly after take-off from the DeLand, Florida Naval Air Station, only about two miles away. Fortunately, the pilot bailed and survived. Periodically, the lake dries up and, years later when we'd visit my grandparents, we'd go exploring on the property and find smashed up pieces of aluminum in the mud. This is the only identifiable part we found. When I brought it home from Florida a few years ago, my wife looked in the truck and said, "What's that piece of sh*t?!" Women...they just don't understand!"

You'll probably be seeing more vintage aircraft references ahead because Dennis digs planes (even out of dried up ponds.) Below he proudly displays his "Contact" backglass that he dug out of his woodpile, near the "Super Rack"...a follow-up theme to "WNBJM"?

Next time we'll get back to the project and dig into the guts of Continental Cafe.

Until then, I just have one question...was the Dauntless really "Silent But Deadly"?


All art, sketches, or photos related directly to "Whizbang Pinball" or "Whoa Nellie (Brand) Big Juicy Melons" or "Whoa Nellie (Brand) Sweet Juicy Melons" are TM and Copyright 2009 WhizBang Pinball, Greg Freres, and Dennis Nordman.

SBD Dauntless photos courtesy of the National Museum of Naval Aviation

"Contact" and "EM Close-Up" photos by G. Freres


  1. It's me, "Steve" (but I'm not Steve!). Cool story about the plane. Really cool that you found two photos of the plane, one in each direction!

    Contact is cool. Also look for the earlier Contact, Formation, Keep 'Em Flying, Squadron for other good WW2-era graphics. Pylon too.

    Enough about scrap metal garbage. Bring on the melons ...

  2. Thanks "Steve"!
    We're thinking the plane story might make it into the game graphics.

    You're right, enough hardware, enough winter, we want melon season.

  3. How much are the mugs?

    The other GF

    Gary Flower

  4. @Gary - Thanks for asking - the mugs are $12 plus shipping... Act Now and for a limited time you get the mug filled with Melon Candy and Watermelon Gumballs! We call that coffee (or tea in your case) with Melony!